Historical Event

Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854

The Siege of Waterford and the Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife

In the late 1160s Dermot MacMurrough, king of Leinster, was struggling to retain his throne. After being expelled from Ireland he sought Strongbow’s assistance in retaking his kingdom. A deal was struck and Strongbow invaded Waterford on 23 August 1170. Read more

Detail from Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854

Dermot MacMurrough (d. 1171)

Dermot MacMurrough (Diarmait Mac Murchada) was a Gaelic lord and king of Leinster. He married his second wife, Mór, c. 1152 and they had two children, Aoife and her brother Conchobar. Read more

Detail of 'Strongbow' from Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854

Richard de Clare (c. 1127–1176)
 
Strongbow (also known as Richard fitz Gilbert and Richard de Clare) was earl of Pembroke and Strigoil, and lord of Leinster.  He was the eldest son of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Pembroke, and succeeded to his father’s earldom in 1148. Read more

Detail of 'Aoife' from Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854

Aoife (c.1153–1189)

Aoife (Aífe, Eva) was the daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, king of Leinster. In 1168 her father arranged her marriage to Richard de Clare (Strongbow) in return for military assistance from the Anglo-Normans. According to Brehon law, an Irish woman could not be forced into marriage therefore it is presumed that Aoife agreed to the arrangement. Read more